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October 5, 2010

Senate panel concerned over rising circular oil debt

National

October 5, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Senate Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources on Monday expressed serious concern at the rising trend of circular debt amounting to over Rs235 billion of the ministry and forcing oil refineries to produce as low as at 60 per cent of their capacity.
“After all, the government has to put in place a plan to resolve the issue of circular debt, enabling the entities of the petroleum sector to perform at full capacity and cater to the needs of the national requirements,” Sabir Ali Baloch, chairman of the committee said.
However, the committee could not reach a consensus note featuring any remedy to the circular debt, piling up over the years.“We had five meetings but no concrete decision came out, as only discussing things does not serve the purpose, I am afraid this one will also prove to be useless unless we work out solutions, we have to be more assertive in our recommendations,” senator Abbas Khan, a member of the committee remarked.
Senator Safdar Abbasi suggested a joint meeting of the Ministry of Water and Power, Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources and Ministry of Finance be convened to thrash out a quick solution to the circular debt.
Senator Pervaiz Rashid proposed a joint meeting of the senate and national assembly to discuss solutions. Managing Director Pakistan State Oil (PSO) Irfan Qureshi briefing the committee said the company’s receivables had soared to Rs144 billion including Rs130 billion from the power sector while payables had swelled to Rs122 billion including Rs89 billion to refineries and Rs33 billion to international oil suppliers.

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